Government O.K's Pilots W/Guns???

mastermechanic

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Aug 20, 2002
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Well the pilots lobby has been successful in implementing a policy that in the end will kill innocent people. We''ve got Gary Cooper at 39k ft playing high noon. Lets just pack this thing up, cause when the next incident happens... pilot loses gun in airport, pilot loses gun at hotel, pilot accidentally discharges firearm, pilot while loading gun, forgets to set autopilot, everybody dies anyway.... nobody is going to want to go to the airport. I mean this is as stupid as stupid gets folks. Pandora''s box is just about to be opened, if these guys haven''t killed our industry with their contracts, they''ll kill it with this act of brilliance....
 
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mastermechanic

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Aug 20, 2002
202
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[blockquote]
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On 9/5/2002 2:18:19 PM mwa wrote:

Pilots had guns in the 60's.
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[/blockquote]
Must be a REASON why they took them away...
 

CAETravlr

Member
Aug 20, 2002
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Ok, I have to agree with mastermechanic on this one. I don't disagree with having something to protect the pilots while operating the aircraft, especially in light of Sept 11. HOWEVER, a firearm on an aircraft at 39,000 feet scares the HE** out of me. I don't know all of the physics involved, but if somehow a misaimed bullet manages to miss all of the passengers on the plane, and makes a hole in a window, the sudden cabin depressurization would be distastrous. Has anyone thought about this? Is this not an issue? I don't know how many pilots are also skilled marksmen, but it scares me.

I support Tazers(sp?), though I know that they do not give a pilot any reach, they are still the best solution to keeping someone out of the cockpit and away from the controls that I can think of.

Just my humble opinion...
CAETravlr
 

luv2fly

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Aug 21, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 9/5/2002 3:03:19 PM mastermechanic wrote:

[blockquote]
----------------
On 9/5/2002 2:18:19 PM mwa wrote:

Pilots had guns in the 60's.
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[/blockquote]
Must be a REASON why they took them away...
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[/blockquote]
Geesh...could be worse. We could give them to mechanics.
 

luv2fly

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Aug 21, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 9/5/2002 3:45:20 PM CAETravlr wrote:

HOWEVER, a firearm on an aircraft at 39,000 feet scares the HE** out of me.
Just my humble opinion...
CAETravlr
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[/blockquote]

CAE,

Are you aware of just how many firearms are already on those aircraft. I am not talking about air marshals.
I typically don't go two trips without carrying an armed official. Anyone from an air marshal to any local law enforcement officer. I have even had forestry and agricultural officials carry weapons on my flight. Now, I don't necessarily feel the need to carry a weapon while flying, but if we are going to restrict the carrying of weapons onboard aircraft, then lets apply a little common sense. Just a much as mastermechanic doesn't want pilots armed, I don't want some John Wayne, Mayberry cop, to feel it is his obligation to save the world.
 

luv2fly

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Aug 21, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 9/5/2002 1:46:30 PM mastermechanic wrote:

if these guys haven't killed our industry with their contracts, they'll kill it with this act of brilliance....
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[/blockquote]

Yes, and everyone knows that the pilots are the ones to blame for the airline problems today. Now excuse me while I rejoin the world of reality.
 

Farley

Advanced
Aug 21, 2002
190
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I agree with Mechanic also, although I don't think all of the embellishment was necessary. The incidents he uses as examples probably will occur eventually. I say let the FAM's do the shooting (just not at our passengers please), and we'll do the flying.
 

CAETravlr

Member
Aug 20, 2002
48
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luv2fly,

I understand what you are saying, I don't want Barney Fife wielding a firearm on a flight that I am on any more than a college educated, intelligent, and sensible pilot, who just might not have had the training to be able to hit the bullseye every time. I did not even consider the law enforcement officials who do carry weapons on airplanes. You are right though, they are on the aircraft already. I am not saying that any of these people would use a gun unless it was completely necessary, I am just worried about the collateral damage if it does. Even the most expert and skilled marksman having a gun on the plane scares me a bit, but it is a fact of life at this point. I just don't think that on top of everything else that a pilot is responsible for on the airplane, that the time or the resources are available to properly train them on the techniques necessary to properly use it at altitude, that is what the Air Marshalls are for.

CAETravlr
 

ualdriver

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
509
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I think you guys are missing the point with us (the pilots) carrying guys.

1) Don't think Gary Cooper at high noon, (and consider this guy's past posts before you give anything he says much credence) think, someone has breached the security of the secondary barrier and the cockpit door, and a pilot is FORCED to use his gun because it is an absolute last resort and all other measures have failed.

2) Although I have yet to read any official policy as to how a gun policy would be implemented IF we ever get guns, I don't think we're going to be asked to leave the cockpit to defuse a situation in the cabin, guns blazing. It is probable that the gun(s) will never even leave the cockpit.

3) As a pilot, I would MUCH rather deal with a depressurization from a stray bullet than having to fight off a would be suicidal attacker. We can survive the depressurization. I have talked to SEVERAL air marshalls and they are trained that a stray bullet (or more) WILL NOT lead to a catastrophic airframe failure. I'll take their professional word for it rather than some people's fantasies about planes exploding in flight because a cabin window gets blown out....Heck, an ENTIRE forward cargo door came off one of our 747's, including several passenger windows and aluminum, and the plane still made it home. It's highly unlikely a cabin window or two (worst case scenario) or a couple of bullet holes is going to take a transport category aircraft down, but it's highly likely that a suicidal terroist will if successful.
 

Winglet

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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Mastermechanic - If you think pilots are stupid, greedy, incompetent and unnecessary, why don't you start a thread under that premise? It's scary to think that there may be people out there like you maintaining aircraft. I'd say you're really a failed lav dumper, but that would insult that group.
 

CAETravlr

Member
Aug 20, 2002
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3) As a pilot, I would MUCH rather deal with a depressurization from a stray bullet than having to fight off a would be suicidal attacker. We can survive the depressurization. I have talked to SEVERAL air marshalls and they are trained that a stray bullet (or more) WILL NOT lead to a catastrophic airframe failure. I'll take their professional word for it rather than some people's fantasies about planes exploding in flight because a cabin window gets blown out....Heck, an ENTIRE forward cargo door came off one of our 747's, including several passenger windows and aluminum, and the plane still made it home. It's highly unlikely a cabin window or two (worst case scenario) or a couple of bullet holes is going to take a transport category aircraft down, but it's highly likely that a suicidal terroist will if successful.


Ualdriver,
Like I said in my original post, I was not sure of the physics involved and the damage that a stray bullet could do. I hope you were not referring to me in some people's fantasies about planes exploding in flight because a cabin window gets blown out. Maybe I should have posed it as a question instead of a concern. I really wanted to know what the professionals had to say about it. Thank you for clarifying that. I guess the original public perception is what the fear was of. Again, you have much more knowledge of what the training and parameters would be. I was merely expressing a concern based on the public's perception of what it might mean.
 

tumbleweed

Member
Sep 5, 2002
22
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Aircraft already have holes the size of basketballs that are opened and closed at various degrees to compensate for changes in pressurization within the acft. The air leak from a bullethole would be insignificant and easily compensated for by the automatic pressurization system.

As for guns in the cabin; my take is that they would never leave the cockpit and would only be used as a very last resort.
 

oldpilot

Newbie
Aug 22, 2002
14
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So if pilots have guns, then the guns will be inside security carried by people in uniforms. If I'm the bad guy, I know where the guns are, I dont need to sneek one in. Just take out a pilot somewhere and I am armed. I can blast away when ever I want.

Just thought of another problem. If the crew is in their seats, which hand do they shoot with if the capt or FO? Qualification should be left handed for Captains and right handed for FOs.

Suppose the pilot flunks the psych test for carring the gun, does that mean no more flying because he is unstable?

Suppose you shoot the wrong person first, like the hostage?

Do you ever have your family on the plane when your in the cockpit. Suppose the bad guy found out and threatend to kill them if you didnt open the door? This one really bothers me.

Just some thoughts generated by the above posts.

Getting older.
 

tumbleweed

Member
Sep 5, 2002
22
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[BR][BR][BR][BR]<<So if pilots have guns, then the guns will be inside security carried by people in uniforms. If I'm the bad guy, I know where the guns are, I dont need to sneek one in. Just take out a pilot somewhere and I am armed. I can blast away when ever I want.>>[BR][BR]But you won't be airborne. You won't have access to any pilots and thier guns when airborne. On the ground I guess they can do the same thing right now to any cop in the airport.[BR][BR]<<Just thought of another problem. If the crew is in their seats, which hand do they shoot with if the capt or FO? Qualification should be left handed for Captains and right handed for FOs.>>[BR][BR]Whatever...[BR][BR]<<Suppose the pilot flunks the psych test for carring the gun, does that mean no more flying because he is unstable?>>[BR][BR]We'll just fire the Shrink and try again[BR][BR]<<Suppose you shoot the wrong person first, like the hostage?>>[BR][BR]I doubt if they would ever try to breach the cockpit holding on to a hostage. It's nearly impossible now and when the reinforced doors are in place it will be impossible. The only shooting that would take place is point blank as someone was somehow entering thru the cockpit doorway. There will be no Rambo actions in the cabin. That defense would still be up to the people riding in the back. The whole idea here is to PROTECT THE COCKPIT. If they get into the cockpit successfully then everyone's dead.[BR][BR]<<Do you ever have your family on the plane when your in the cockpit. Suppose the bad guy found out and threatend to kill them if you didnt open the door? This one really bothers me.>> [BR][BR]The chances of that happening are infintesiml(sp). And if it did, see above.[BR][BR]One last note... The pilot gun program will be available only to those who volunteer. My guess - based just on the hastle involved with initial/recurrent training and carrying and being responsible for the weapon - is that a minor percentage at best will ultimately qualify to carry a gun in flight. But the greatest deterrent is that no one will know whether or not they will actually eat a 9MM slug if they get thru the cockpit door. I feel that the possiblity rather than the actual existance of a gun is the programs greatest asset.[BR][BR]Hey where's Mastertwit??? Are the words gettin too big for ya at this end of this thread?
 

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